Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Story Ideas

New segment today call What the fuck am I talking about.

Today’s random shit… Story Ideas.

Where do my ideas for stories come from? Personal experience. A conversation overhead. Something someone said on Facebook. I’ve gotten ideas from all of these sources. A TV show here, a novel there, a slew of blogs and web sites I frequent. Ideas are everywhere. I remember asking a question a few years ago at a writing seminar. “What if you only have one good idea?” Wow, was I retarded.

What do I do with these ideas? Write them down. I carry a small leather bound notebook with a pen attached. I write everything that catches my attention. Some just stay on an “Ideas” page waiting to be read again. Others immediately evolve into a title and a story that I can see clearly.

I love those moments. It fuels me to write. I have the next seven stories lined up. All with good titles and I know how they start and how they end. If a better story idea comes along I toss that in the queue.

Why do I write? To get these stories down on paper and out of my head. For so many years I would walk around with these ideas that would show their faces every so often. Every time they would pop up I would think, “Man that would make a great story.” One day I decided to get them out of my head. I love movies so I chose screenplays as the medium.

I can’t break a story unless I have a title. To me, a good title is the corner stone of any story. It’s a warm blanket around me that keeps me warm as I snowplow through a story. Without a great title, I am lost and my writing suffers.

I have to know the opening scene and the ending of the film to consider spending time to break the story. Stories gestate over time. I let them sit there until I allow it to show me what it’s about. I am sounding like a total freak right now but after several years of trying to get a complete story down on paper, I’ve realized what works for me.

Writing isn’t just about typing or writing words. For me it’s about having fun and creating awesome shit out of thin air. To do that I need a process that works for me.

Find your process, in whatever you do. Refine it, learn from it, and enjoy yourself.